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For all of the instances that “unprecedented” served as an correct adjective for information in 2020—and automakers did see loads of that this 12 months—among the most newsworthy occasions of 2020 had been continuations from 2019 and even 2018. American automotive consumers as soon as once more purchased extra SUVs and vehicles than sedans, simply doing so to a larger diploma this 12 months. The push towards electrification continued, and Tesla’s dominance in electrical automobiles was arduous to disregard. And though now we have seen many truck names come again in recent times, 2020 was maybe the apex of that development.
But sure, there isn’t a speaking about 2020 with out speaking about COVID-19. The pandemic was an outsize driver of reports this 12 months, and that stayed true for the auto business. There is not any separating the largest information tales of this 12 months from the pandemic, even when , as an example, the debut of the GMC Hummer EV looks as if it would not be associated to the pandemic (trace: the pandemic delayed that reveal, like many others).
So listed below are the largest information tales from a very uncommon 12 months. Maybe if we’re fortunate, as soon as the calendar says “2021,” we’ll neglect any of this occurred.
Of every part that occurred this 12 months, COVID-19 underscored almost all of it.
One of the trendiest issues to do that 12 months: announce plans on your future electric-vehicle lineup and gross sales targets.
The different fashionable factor to do: revive a truck nameplate.
In the final couple of years, many beforehand retired names had been introduced again, together with the Lincoln Aviator, the Chevrolet Blazer and Trailblazer, and the Ford Ranger. Maybe it has been to capitalize on title recognition or just because these names had been already trademarked. Either approach, this development totally realized its potential this 12 months.
In 2020 alone, automakers introduced again the Ford Bronco, the GMC Hummer (now in EV type), and the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, the three of which make up among the most recognizable SUV nameplates ever to see American roads. And every automaker made positive the revamped examples could be much more memorable than their former variations.
Tesla, with 5 consecutive quarters of revenue, confirmed it is a drive to be reckoned with—one which’s not going wherever anytime quickly.
Trucks and SUVs saved the automakers from what may’ve been a dismal 12 months.
After the pandemic started within the U.S., new-vehicle gross sales tanked—however SUV and truck gross sales took a lot much less of a success than the remainder of the market. Each time automakers reported gross sales, whether or not it was at month-to-month or quarterly intervals, the energy and recognition of SUVs and vehicles underlined the outcomes. This is what finally led to a worthwhile third quarter for a lot of automakers.
In April, pickup-truck gross sales handed these of sedans for the primary time ever, a growth helped by contracting sedan gross sales. Nonetheless, the success of costlier automobiles by means of the pandemic is one other indication of who the pandemic has been taking the largest toll on: lower-income people, whereas these with larger incomes saved their jobs and saved shopping for automobiles.
Sedans, notably for American automakers, have gotten shut to only being a reminiscence.
The transformation to sedan-free lineups began a number of years in the past, however this 12 months sedan choices—notably these from American automakers—shrank significantly. Ford not has any sedans being constructed because the Ford Fusion, Lincoln Continental, and Lincoln MKZ all ended manufacturing this 12 months. In the General Motors lineup, the Chevrolet Impala and Sonic and the Cadillac CT6 all got here to an finish in 2020.
The transition got here at a very good time; fewer individuals had been out there for sedans this 12 months, and low-cost fuel costs bolstered gross sales for the SUVs and vehicles during which automakers have invested closely. And whereas we aren’t going to see each vendor lot go utterly sedan-free, we will’t neglect in regards to the sedans from quite a few different automakers that American consumers will not get, together with the Acura RLX, Honda Fit, Jaguar XE, Lexus GS, Mercedes-Benz SLC, and Toyota Yaris.
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